April 7, 2011 in Washington Voices

Council hears access concerns

Outdoorsmen wanted public hearing over Indiana Avenue extension
By The Spokesman-Review

Paddlers, fishermen and residents turned out in force Tuesday to discuss the Indiana Avenue extension with the Spokane Valley City Council.

Many wanted to preserve the access to the Spokane River and the Centennial Trail.

The city made changes to the plan last week to include a pathway and a connecting street after residents complained a public hearing should have been held.

Steve Bailey, a kayaker, said he appreciated the changes the council made after hearing comments from the public. He was, however, concerned about the future development plans of Centennial Properties, the company which vacated the land to build the couplet.

“I don’t feel that Centennial Properties is looking to see what our views are in this matter,” Bailey said.

Centennial Properties is owned by Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

Mayor Tom Towey told the crowd the trailhead issue was on the agenda for April 19 and encouraged everyone to attend.

Resident James Pollard told the council his concern was the city’s failure to inform the public about the project or hold a public hearing.

“In my mind, I don’t believe it was an oversight,” Pollard said. He told the council it should review its public works policies.

Mary Pollard, chairwoman of North Greenacres Neighborhood, offered two options to the council. The first was to not award the bid and keep the public funds.

“Centennial Properties is very capable to build their own road,” Mary Pollard said.

Her second option was to award the bid but make changes to the plan, such as five entrances to a roundabout planned at Mission and Flora. She said one-way couplets are never good for business.

The council awarded the bid to Spokane Rock Products to complete the project for $1.05 million.

The council also awarded a construction bid to Bouten Construction to complete Phase I of Greenacres Park. The estimate of the project was $1.54 million, but the bid came in considerably lower. Bouten was awarded the project for $926,000.

Parks and Recreation Director Mike Stone told the council the low bid will allow the city to complete several aspects of Phase II, including adding turf and irrigation, a sand and water play area and an additional shelter.

Mary Pollard applauded the project and told the council the neighborhood had been working many years for the park.

“I am thrilled about this project,” she said.

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